Title:
Installation-free chip card reader for secure online banking
United States Patent 8403210
Abstract:
In order to use a mobile smartcard reader that can address commercial smartcards conforming to the EMV standard in a simple manner, the invention provides a method for controlling a chip card reader (3) by a computer system (4) connectable to smartcard reader (3), comprising the connection of chip card reader (3) to computer system (4) via an interface (8) designed for data communication on the basis of a protocol provided on a standard basis in operating system (11) of computer system (4); the provision of a control program (7a, 7b) for controlling the functions of chip card reader (3), wherein control program (7a, 7b) is provided as a plug-in; and the controlling of chip card reader (3) by executing control program (7b) on computer system (4). The invention further provides a chip card reader (3) as well as a control program (7a, 7b) for performing the method.


Inventors:
Tak, Markus (Birkenau, DE)
Application Number:
12/189174
Publication Date:
03/26/2013
Filing Date:
08/10/2008
Assignee:
Kobil Systems GmbH (DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
235/379, 235/381, 235/382
International Classes:
G06K5/00
Field of Search:
235/441, 235/486, 235/451, 235/487, 235/492, 235/375-383
View Patent Images:
Foreign References:
DE202007002971U12007-06-06Vorrichtung zur Erstellung digitaler Signaturen
EP13254652005-07-20ELECTRONIC MODULE COMPRISING A CONNECTOR COUPLED TO A SUPERORDINATE ARITHMETIC UNIT
WO2002065317A12002-08-22UNIVERSAL PERIPHERAL DEVICE CONTROLLER
WO2005109217A12005-11-17DEVICE DRIVER PROVIDING METHOD, INFORMATION DEVICE, AND PERIPHERAL DEVICE
Other References:
Guido Braccini, “EP Application No. 08 01 3427 Search Report”, Feb. 23, 2009, Publisher: EPO, Published in: EP.
Dipl. -Ing. Weibenger, “DE Application No. 10 2007 037 715.2 Office Action”, Aug. 19, 2009, Publisher: Deutsches Patent -und Markenamt, Published in: DE.
Primary Examiner:
Vo, Tuyen K.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kaplan Breyer Schwarz & Ottesen, LLP
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A method for controlling a chip card reader (3) by a computer system (4) connectable to the chip card reader (3), comprising: connecting the chip card reader (3) to the computer system (4) via an interface (8), which is designed for data communication on the basis of a standard USB-HID protocol provided in an operating system (11) of the computer system (4); providing a control program (7a, 7b) for controlling the functions of the chip card reader (3), wherein the control program (7a, 7b) is provided as a plug-in; and controlling the chip card reader (3) by running the control program (7b) on computer system (4), wherein executing the control program (7b) performs at least one of the following tasks: (i) user authentication, (ii) authorization of a transaction, and (iii) data encryption.

2. The method according to claim 1, further comprising: providing the control program (7a) on a server (1), setting up a communication connection (10) between the server (1) and the computer system (4), and transmitting the control program (7a, 7b) from the server (1) to the computer system (4).

3. The method according to claim 2, further comprising: calling up the control program (7a, 7b) by the computer system (4) from the server (1); and transmitting a control command from the chip card reader (3) to the computer system (4), effecting the calling of control program (7a).

4. The method according to claim 1, further comprising: providing the control program (7b) in a memory (12) of the chip card reader (3); and transmitting the control program (7b) from the chip card reader (3) to the computer system (4).

5. The method according to claim 4, wherein the transmission of the control program (7b) from the chip card reader (3) to the computer system (4) is automatically initiated upon connection of the chip card reader (3) to the computer system (4).

6. A chip card reader (3) for connection to a computer system (4), comprising: a port unit (9) for the connection of a chip card (2); and an interface (8) for connection to the computer system (4) constructed for data communication on the basis of a USB-HID protocol, wherein the chip card reader (3) is constructed for control by means of a control program (7b) that is provided as a plug-in, wherein executing the control program (7b) performs at least one of the following tasks: (i) user authentication, (ii) authorization of a transaction, and (iii) data encryption.

7. The chip card reader (3) according to claim 6, further comprising a memory (12) in which the control program (7b) is stored.

8. A control program (7b) for running on a computer system (4) for controlling the functions of a chip card reader (3) connectable to the computer system (4) via interface (8), characterized in that the control program (7b) is constructed as a plug-in, whereon executing the control program (7b) performs at least one of the following tasks: (i) user authentication, (ii) authorization of a transaction, and (iii) data encryption, and wherein the interface (8) is designed for data communication on the basis of a standard USB-HID protocol provided in an operating system (11) of the computer system (4).

Description:

The invention describes a mobile smartcard reader, which can address ordinary commercial smartcards conforming to the EMV standard [1] (not part of the invention). The EMV standard is described in the specifications published by the firm EMVCo. LLC (EMV™ Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems Version 4.0, EMVCo LLC, 2000; http://www.emvco.org). The particular invention is that no driver software of any kind need be installed for the mobile smartcard reader in order to use it in the Internet for secure user authentication and authorization of transactions, as well as for data encryption. For this purpose, a so-called “browser plug-in” is used, which is downloaded one time from an Internet server (not part of the invention) and installed in the local Internet browser (not part of the invention). This browser plug-in provides the connection between the mobile smartcard reader (the invention) via the existing USB driver (not part of the invention) and the Internet server.

The scope of the invention is thus the browser plug-in (7a/b) and the smartcard reader (3), which presents itself due to its implementation at the USB port (8) such that it is recognized and incorporated by ordinary commercial operating systems, without a manufacturer-specific driver having to be installed.

Fields of Application:

    • Internet banking/bank transactions (also securities, account management, etc.)
      • Secure log-in at the Internet banking server (identification of the user)
      • Digital signatures for transactions
    • Secure log in at Internet portals/protected contents
      • Authentication of the user
        Possible Implementations:
    • Internet browser: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.
    • Operating system: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple MacOS, etc.
    • Smartcard: EMV chip cards, crypto chip cards, signature chip cards, PKI chip cards—each with the identity of the user (as a pseudonym if desired), wherein cryptographic keys and/or algorithms necessary for signature or authentication can also be stored on the respective chip card.
    • USB driver: Human Interface Device (HID)

HID (see http://www.usb.org/developers/hidpage/) designates a device class of the USB standard for computers, which describes devices that interact directly with the user. HID device drivers are contained in common operating systems.

Differentiation from Known Technology:

    • USB token with soldered-on crypto chip (Aladdin, U.S. Pat. No. 6,763,399 B2)
      • Smartcard is interchangeable, thereby very different personalization/association with the user is possible
      • No necessity for driver installation, runs on all commercial operating systems
    • smartcard (storage for key material)
      • Is not part of this invention, but rather it is only used together with the invention
    • chip card readers
      • Today always require the installation of manufacturer-specific and operating system-specific drivers
    • Telekom patent (memory+smartcard)
      • No memory on the chip card reader
      • Smartcard is interchangeable and separate from the device of the invention

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts smartcard reader 3.

FIG. 2 depicts a system that comprises smartcard reader 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference is made below to FIGS. 1 and 2.

The invention describes a smartcard reader (3) into which any desired smartcard (2) conforming to the EMV standard can be inserted. The latter is addressed via an EMV contacting unit (9) conforming to the EMV standard.

The smartcard reader (3) is connected via a USB port (8) to a commercial personal computer (PC, 4) and is recognized by the operating system (11) installed there or via a USB driver (6) contained therein.

Thus, there is no necessity for the installation of a specific driver for smartcard reader (3).

In order to make smartcard reader (3) usable, it is addressed by a browser plug-in (7a), which is first downloaded by the locally installed Internet browser (5) from Internet server (1) and installed in Internet browser (5) (7b). Via browser plug-in (7b), USB driver (6), USB port (8) and smartcard reader (3), Internet server (1) can access the smartcard (2) in order to authenticate the owner/user and/or to have transactions signed with a digital signature.

An alternative embodiment of the invention will be described below

Internet browser (5) together with browser plug-in (7b) can be stored, preconfigured in an optionally available memory area (12) of smartcard reader (3), and loaded from there via USB driver (6) and operating system (11) into PC (4) and run therein. In this case, no download from Internet server (1) is necessary in order to perform transactions with smartcard (2).